A Solution to the Sound of 'Ear Spray' "Ear spray" is the tinny sound that leaks out of somebody else's iPod. NPR producer Neva Grant was showered by this sound on a recent train trip, and discovered an unlikely solution to the problem.
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A Solution to the Sound of 'Ear Spray'

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A Solution to the Sound of 'Ear Spray'

A Solution to the Sound of 'Ear Spray'

A Solution to the Sound of 'Ear Spray'

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5545142/5545143" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

"Ear spray" is the tinny sound that leaks out of somebody else's iPod. NPR producer Neva Grant was showered by this sound on a recent train trip, and discovered an unlikely solution to the problem.

STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

You're in a crowded public space, like an elevator or a train, and you hear the tinny percussive sound of music from some stranger's iPod, or other device, cranked up to maximum volume.

NPR: ear spray.

NEVA GRANT: And now I'm in a bind. I'm at least twice this guy's age, I do not choose to own an iPod, but I do harbor this sort of middle-aged insecurity, that it's totally uncool not to have one, and even less cool to tell somebody to lower the volume on theirs. So, instead of nagging him to lower it again, I take this kind of yogic approach. I don't try to ignore the music. I focus in on it and I try to figure out why - when there are so many other noises on a train - why is the relentless backwash from somebody's headphones so hard to tune out? Is it that high frequency, the fact that the vocals leaking out of his ears sound like hungry mosquitoes, about to attack mine?

INSKEEP: There it is.

(SOUNDBITE OF EAR SPRAY)

GRANT: Wait! Didn't he invade my personal space first? Yes, you may say, if you're old enough to be his mother. No, you might say, if you're young enough to be his friend. Either way, when he saw the microphone, he really did turn down the music.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Keep it turned up. It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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